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This will be a bittersweet Vuelta. I think many of us had hoped he would stick around for one more year. It is sad to see him retire even if we knew it was coming.
 

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Yeah, I definitely expected him to race at least part of next year, but I respect his choice to roll out on his own terms when he still has a bit left. It will also be interesting to see what Trek does with its lead GC rider role now. Mollema is good, but not elite. They have now missed out on Landa, but maybe they will be more aggressive in pursuing my man Uran Uran? Who else is out there???
 

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One of my favorite bicycle racers ever. Always a pleasure to watch, not the least because of his out-of-the-saddle riding style. He always looked focused, involved and spirited. A far cry from the draggy, gangly, hypnotized-by-the-cyclo-computer style of another rider I could mention.
 

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I agree that at least he is going out on his own terms, although I had hoped he'd race at least part of next year. On the other hand I'm not surprised he has decided his home Grand Tour will be his last race. The other sad part for many of us who are fans of Valverde is he had wanted to race with Contador in Contador's final race and now he can't do that. Plus no more pictures of the two them racing together. :(
So instead I'll post a couple of pictures of them together.
 

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Yes he has had his share of controversy but I am sorry to see him go. Here's a pic of my close encounter. About 25 m short of turn 6 on Alpe D'Huez in the 2011 TdF. He was on the attack, chasing down Pierre Rollin. I was very excited, yelling and jumping, trying to snap pics with my lousy point and shoot at the same time. He was moving!
 

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